Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Theme of the night... The United States Marine Corps

If you have not been already, please go to Blog Father Grau’s place and see a picture of 1st Sgt Farr. He is the Marine for whom we pitched in and bought a kilt. The Good Gunny sent pictures and 1st Sgt. Farr looks pretty damn sharp in his new attire. Seeing these pictures confirmed to me what has become a saying of mine over the last year, “God didn’t make any ugly Marines”, which leads me to the story of why I feel this way.

I grew up in a military family, Navy to be exact. My affection and loyalty to all that is Navy runs very deep. Being from a Navy family meant great exposure to the Marine Corps but no exposure to the Coasties, Army or Air Force. I met my first USAF personnel at 12 when my father was stationed overseas and there were personnel from every branch. I might have met Army also, but that would have been at the annual Army Navy football game party held at my parent’s home during those two years. (Go Navy! Beat Army! Yeah, I’ll be blogging on that game in November…)

My most vivid first memory of the Marines as a whole, as opposed to individual friends of my parents, was probably when I was 16. My Dad was CO of a squadron comprised of Navy and Marine Corps pilots. Every year there was a pig roast and canoe regatta. Every year, the Marines would stay out all night roasting the pig and getting totally soused. By the time the families arrived for the regatta, they were three sheets to the wind, but that didn’t prevent them from participating. My kid brother, two years my junior, and I would be in one canoe and TGOO, Mom and my sister would be in another. They weren’t about to try to capsize the TGOO’s canoe, so that left me and bro as targets. I’ll never forget canoeing down this serene river and hearing, “It’s the CO’s kids! Get ‘em!” and my bro and I would paddle like hell to stay away. Of course they were so damn drunk it wasn’t hard, but it definitely got the blood flowing. After the regatta we would all sit around the pig, eating, and I would watch and listen to these men and they were hysterical. And they loved kids. They were always playing with the little kids.

I got to my freshman year in college and TGOO was again on a carrier. Someone was filming some movie about Viet Nam and Marines and some of our local Vietnamese population were being used as extras. TGOO said he looked out over the bridge, onto the dock, and it was very segregated. The Marines were on one side and the Vietnamese adults, with their kids, were on the other. He said that maybe an hour later he looked back over and on one said were all the Vietnamese adults and the other, a few military extras. In the middle, were all the Marines and kids, all rolling around tussling and playing. In the military, the other branches are always the butts of other people’s jokes, and the Marines were of many in our household, yet they were held in a different light at the same time.

By the time I got out of college, I had met many Marines. My kid sister (6 years junior) had a serious boyfriend who was a Marine pilot and who we adored. (Classic case of meeting the right person at the wrong time.) Many of my friends had married Marines and I had befriended a few as well. I could never marry a Marine; however, I have too dominant and aggressive of a personality and it would have been disastrous.

Two years ago I was attending a Memorial Day Service. It’s the biggest one in our County and I attend every year. I was with two friends. We lay a wreath every year In Memory. We're sitting there and every now and then we would see a Marine in full dress. They looked sharp. They were fit, hair cut in a high and tight, hat just right, standing tall, and they were all a sight to behold. Every last one of them. I looked over at my friends and said, “Good Lord, I swear to you, God did not make any ugly Marines.” My one friend leaned over and said quietly, “D., I think you are just in awe of how honorable they are and what they do for our Country.” So I look at the small group of Marines ahead of us, 10 feet or so, then I look at my other friend, who had been silent, and she shakes her head no and lifts an eyebrow. I look back at my friend who had replied and said, “Nope. I gave it thought. That’s not what it is. I do respect them for it, but we agree, God just flat out didn’t make any ugly Marines.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awwww, shucks. Thank you, Boudicca!

That 1 Guy

12:53 AM  
Blogger Boudicca said...

You're a former Marine?!! Wow. No wonder I like you! :)

9:22 AM  

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